If you're on the hunt for cheap car insurance, EverQuote can help. Let's break down the best ways lower your bill, starting with the ones with the biggest potential savings.
Compare quotes from multiple companies
Comparison shopping is one the best ways to find cheap car insurance because rates easily vary by hundreds of dollars among companies. Car insurance quotes are always free and easy to get, so comparing rates is a good use of time.
EverQuote can connect you to insurers to get rates and personalized service. Simply fill out a quote request to the right to get started.
Here's a look at how premiums can vary among insurers. These rates are based on premiums reported by EverQuote users with good driving records and coverage above the state minimums.
Nationwide average premiums
|Company||Average annual premium|
|Shelter Insurance Co.||$1,272|
|21st Century Insurance||$1,428|
|AAA / Auto Club||$1,560|
|American National Insurance||$1,620|
|MetLife Auto & Home||$1,668|
|Citizens (Florida only)||$1,752|
|National General Insurance||$1,800|
|Windhaven (Florida only)||$1,830|
|Plymouth Rock Assurance||$1,920|
|Source: EverQuote. See full methodology below.|
Maintain good credit
Did you know that having poor credit can affect your car insurance rates even more than an accident or ticket? While improving credit can take months or years, it pays off in multiple ways:
- Cheaper car insurance.
- Better rates if you get a mortgage.
- Lower rates for car loans.
- Better credit card rates and access to cards with perks.
Auto insurers say that poor credit correlates to a higher chance someone will make a claim. So they often use "credit-based insurance scores" as a major factor in pricing. The practice is banned in California, Hawaii and Massachusetts.
Keep your driving record clean
Getting moving violations often leads to a rate increase at renewal time and can ruin your chances for cheap car insurance. Reckless driving, DUIs and speeding tickets are some of the worst for rate increases. Insurers typically check your DMV record before renewal time and adjust rates accordingly.
Some insurers offer a "good driver" discount when you keep a clean record for a certain number of years. If you get a ticket or have an accident, you'll lose the discount.
Causing a car accident or making a claim could also lead to a rate increase at renewal time.
Here's a look at how much your rate might go up after an accident or speeding ticket, based on premiums reported by EverQuote users who had an accident or ticket vs. those who didn't.
|State||Insurance increase after an accident||Insurance increase after a speeding ticket|
|Source: Premiums were reported by EverQuote users, based on policies with bodily injury liability coverage of $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident. Rates are based on single vehicles with one driver who has a good driving record with no violations. Premiums for sedans, coupes and hatchbacks were averaged. Premiums are based on expenditures reported between Jan. 1, 2016, and April 1, 2018. Your own rates will be different.|
Buy your home or renters insurance from your auto insurance company
The discount for "bundling" home and auto insurance from the same insurer is generally one of the bigger discounts you can get. You can typically also bundle auto insurance with renters, condo, mobile home or manufactured home insurance.
Reduce your car insurance to the state-required minimumIf you're simply looking to get on the road the cheapest way possible, buying only the minimum state-required auto insurance will get you there. We don't recommend this, but it is a way to get the cheapest car insurance possible.
The trade-off is that you could be personally on the hook for thousands of dollars in damage if you cause a large accident. You can be sued for any damage amount that goes above your car insurance limits.
Find your state's minimum amount of car insurance.
If you have a car loan or lease, your lender or leasing company likely requires that you have collision and comprehensive insurance. If so, you can't drop them until the loan is paid off.
More ways to get cheap car insurance
Here are more ways to get cheaper auto insurance.
Ask your agent to review potential car insurance discounts. It doesn't hurt to make sure you're getting all the savings you're entitled to. The car insurance discounts below are easy to come by, and ask your agent if you qualify for others:
- Anti-lock brakes
- Anti-theft system
- Air bags
- Automatic seat belts
Discounts will vary by company. You might be able to get a discount for paying in full rather than monthly, for signing up for automatic bill pay, or by using paperless billing.
Geico, for example, has discounts for a wide range of alumni associations and membership groups, such as being a member of the National Audubon Society.
Choose an insurance-friendly vehicle. Insurance companies look at the "claims history" of vehicles. If other drivers of your model of car tend to crash a lot or make insurance claims, rates for the vehicle can rise for everyone. Here's a list of the cheapest cars to insure.
Move. We know moving isn't usually an option, but be aware that location can make a big difference in car insurance rates. Take Detroit drivers, who suffer under some of the highest rates in the nation. EverQuote users in Detroit report paying an average of $2,832 a year to insure one driver and one vehicle. If they could move to nearby Dearborn, the average drops by about $850, to $1,980. If they could move halfway across the state to Jackson, the average drops to $1,716.
Drop collision and comprehensive coverage on older cars. There's no need to pay for insurance that has little potential benefit. That could be the case if you're paying for comprehensive and collision insurance on an older vehicle.
Collision and comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your vehicle for problems like hail, theft, animal collisions and crashes into objects like trees and other cars. The most it will pay is the value of your vehicle, minus your deductible. On an older vehicle, that may not amount to much.
Save insurance for big problems. Another way to get cheap auto insurance is to avoid making some types of claims. A claim can lead to a rate increase at renewal time. If you crash into someone, they can make a claim on your liability insurance -- there's no way around that. But if you dent your bumper by hitting a pole, you can decide whether you want to make a claim on your collision coverage and risk a rate increase.
Methodology for average premiums: Premiums were reported by EverQuote users, based on policies with bodily injury liability coverage of $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident. Rates are based on single vehicles with one driver who has a good driving record with no violations. Premiums for sedans, coupes and hatchbacks were averaged. Premiums are based on expenditures reported between Jan. 1, 2016, and April 1, 2018. Your own rates will be different.
More on finding affordable car insurance where you live
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